Blog-Life Crisis: To Blog or Not to Blog? #Discussion #Blogging #Bloglifecrisis

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Lipsyy Lost & Found is coming up to its fifth anniversary (in May). Which is a bit mad! It’s mostly been a joy, but it’s also felt like a burden at times and I’ve just emerged from what appears to be my annual slump/crisis/blog-meltdown.

I always like to take some time off at the end of each year and start of the next but every time I do I have this sudden feeling of relief and freedom which leads me to wonder if I want/need to keep the blog going.

Does anyone else have these melt-downs?

I’m completely aware that the pressure I feel is all self-induced but that doesn’t make it any easier. This year has been my biggest slump yet, and I was very seriously considering not coming back for so many reasons which I’m sure will resonate with many of you too…

The grand ole issue of time: 

This has always been a problem and always will be for those of us with full time jobs & commitments. I started the blog when I had a very boring office job and could work on it during the day. I haven’t had that luxury for three years now so all of my blogging (including reading/commenting on other blogs) takes place in the evenings and at weekends.

Also the more I blog, the less I can read and the less I can read the less I can blog…and I won’t even get started on writing – which leads me to…

What am I really achieving apart from unnecessary stress? Sure, getting free & advanced books is nice and all the other little perks that come along with book blogging but I really started the blog because I wanted to take reading more seriously. I was in desperate need to get a job I was passionate about, so I thought having a book blog would look good when looking for publishing/bookselling/library jobs (and I was right – it did, and I did and…see full circle!?)

But that wasn’t my only aim. I also wanted the structure of writing every day. I dreamed of being a journalist for years, then, whilst studying, I decided I preferred creative writing. After years of trying my hand at a few stories here and there it became obvious that I needed to improve on a myriad of things to ever hope of getting published. I hoped that reviewing books would force me to think about what makes a good story and why, and improve my awareness of story structure and language. I think that maybe it did at first. Back when I put a lot of thought into reviews and what I was reading. But I feel like I’ve just been churning them out lately, trying to get through as many books as possible and rushing through reviews.

This is my main issue at the moment. A lot of the joy has been stripped away. I feel like I’ve created a monster and lost sight of what I wanted to achieve. Before I knew it a hobby turned into a second job, and without the outcome I was hoping for. The all-important time issue has meant that I’ve been posting without editing, reviewing without thought and reading without enjoyment. Which is all a bit pointless really….

However, after a month of really thinking about it and weighing up the pros and cons I realise that I don’t want to give up my little blog, or give up on what I wanted it to achieve. I do think my writing style has improved, and will continue to improve with this blog. I would also miss all of you fellow bloggers who I am forever inspired and entertained by.

And so, the conclusion I’ve (finally) come to is to carry on blogging, but a little bit differently. 

  1. Restrict ARCs/ review requests to one a month leaving time to read what I want to read when I want to read them.
  2. Only reviewing a book when I have something to say: There’s nothing worse than trying to frantically get reviews done when you don’t really have anything to say about it anyway. I may do a summary of books that didn’t warrant a comprehensive review but I won’t be forcing myself to write them for everything I read.
  3. Quality not quantity: This is the big one. I mean it as far as reading and posting goes. No more power-reading! And posts will be written in advance and edited.
  4. No more self-imposed pressure: It’s hard not to get click-happy on Netgalley and to say no to review requests when you like the sound of the book but NO is my new friend. And if a book doesn’t get reviewed on time? Tough!
  5. Introducing new content: I have a lot of other things going on in my life that I love, such as my vintage bookshop on Etsy, my work in the prison library and my own writing (which I hope to do more of with this new approach to life- LOL) so I would like to include those on my blog more instead of just posting memes and book reviews.

What do you think, can it be done?

 

Join the discussion, leave a comment…

Why do you blog about books and what keeps you going?

Do you ever want to give it up?

Do you have any advice for bloggers like me who love blogging but find it difficult to fit into a busy life schedule? 

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11 thoughts on “Blog-Life Crisis: To Blog or Not to Blog? #Discussion #Blogging #Bloglifecrisis

  1. We all have little melt downs – myself included. I think the aim is to do what you can and only do what makes you happy, so restricting some of your content is a good idea. I’m struggling a bit too at the moment as I’m editing my manuscript with a view to self publishing this year, and trying to add some new features to Kyrosmagica, like my Blogger/Author Spotlights/Interviews. There are just never enough hours in the day… and I feel sad that some of the things I really enjoyed doing like Weekend Coffee share/photography posts I just don’t have time for.

    • Yeah I think you’re right in that you should do what makes you happy where your blog is concerned. It’s so easy to loose sight of your aim and start producing posts just for stats or to keep publishers/authors/affiliates happy.

      I think that’s why I’ve decided to have a much more relaxed approach and to write more posts just for me. It might mean the blog goes in a slightly different direction but I need to remember that I started it for me!

      It’s a shame that when we run out of time it’s the posts we enjoy doing that get sacrificed first. I hope you manage to find a balance too.

      Thanks for your thoughts! It’s always nice to know others have similar problems. 😉

  2. I think the time issue hits us all – I have the type of job where I become really busy without warning and I don’t have time for much else – my rule over the last six months or so has been if it’s a choice between reading and blogging then reading wins – that said I love interacting with other readers in a way I don’t get a chance to in ‘real life’

    • Yep, I think we owe it to ourselves to enjoy it and appreciate the good things like the great community we have as book bloggers.

      I definitely need to be more relaxed about it and read more of the things I want to instead of preparing posts all the time. It gets me down when it starts to feel like a chore!

  3. I accepted an advanced copy of a book to review once — only once. I vowed I would never do it again. I do not accept review requests and I don’t solicit ads. I blog for one reason: my love of reading and writing. If I want to write, I do. If I’m busy, I don’t. I read what I want and write what is interesting for me. My life is too short to waste time doing things that do not make me happy. If my blog were to become work, I would likely stop doing it.

    So that is a long-winded way of saying, do what you want. Maybe try doing it for the joy of it instead of making it work. I was a chef for many years and ended up hating to cook because it was work. After I left the hospitality field, I rediscovered the pleasures of food preparation. Just sayin’.

    Cheers!

    • Ha thanks Jeff, you are so right! I guess I have always treated it like a job because of what I wanted to get out of it. But now my aims have definitely shifted.

      I love getting advanced books because I love the idea of being able to read something amazing before anyone else, (and because it’s the main perk of book blogging) but in reality it just creates unnecessary pressure. One a month max. I just need to stick to it and not get greedy 😉 Thanks for your input!

  4. I totally relate to that. I’ve been choosing reading over blogging because the love of books came first and when it comes to time, we don’t have that many hours to do it all, but I have found so much in blogging that even during stressful and pressuring times, I don’t want to give up that hobby. Now I do think your decisions are good! 🙂 See it if helps you, shake things a bit, and just try to go easy and have fun!

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